I will always ensure that your sales contract includes a provision that entitles you the right to inspect the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and, structural components of the property.
There are numerous inspection companies that provide services of this type. The inspector will meet you on site to discuss his findings and will give you a written report itemizing any areas of concern. Home inspections typically cost between $250 - $400.
Many physical problems may arise during a house inspection. A prudent Seller will ensure their home can pass scrutiny by doing their own pre-inspection in the following areas:
DAMP OR WET BASEMENT:
An Inspector will check the basement walls for powdery white mineral deposits; and see if you are using the basement for storage without concern of dampness. A mildew odor is difficult to eliminate, and will certainly come to the attention of an inspector. The solutions for repair may range from simple venting to a whole new perimeter drainage tile system. Crack sealing could cost $200-$I000.00 depending on the severity of cracking and the location. Installation of a sump pump could run up to $1.000, and complete waterproofing $5000-$10,000. If the repair costs are beyond your ability to have tile work done get several price quotes from reputable firms and be prepared to negotiate them at the time of an offer.
Defective plumbing can manifest itself in two different ways: leaking and clogging. A visual inspection can detect leaking, and an inspector will gauge water pressure by turning on all faucets in the highest bathroom and then flushing the toilet. If you hear the sound of running water, it indicates the pipes are undersized. If water appears dim when first turned on, it may indicate rusting pipes which can severely affect water quality. If the sinks, tubs and toilets show iron stains, there may be a problem with the well water iron content. A prudent Buyer will always ask for a water quality test done for a property serviced by a well.
Your home should have a minimum of 100 amp service. Wiring should be copper or aluminum. Does the existing panel allow for use of multiple appliances and computers etc. without blowing a breaker? Are there sufficient outlets or is your home full of octopus plugs? This can be a costly item to upgrade and a major area of concern for most Buyers.
POOR HEATING SYSTEMS:
Insufficient insulation and an inadequate or poorly functioning heating system are the most common causes of poor heating. While an adequately clean furnace. Without rust on the heat exchanger, usually has life left in it, and inspector will be checking to see if the furnace is over its' typical life span. A record of regular maintenance will go a long way to making this inspection a successful one. For a forced air system, the heat exchanger will come under close scrutiny since a defective one can emit deadly carbon monoxide into the home. These exchangers must be replaced if damaged, they cannot be repaired.
Water leakage through the roof can occur for a variety of reasons such as physical deterioration of the asphalt shingles (curling or splitting), or damage from a wind storm. When gutters leak and downspouts allow water to run down and through the exterior walls, this external problem becomes a major internal one.
Aside from basement dampness, problems with ventilation, insulation and, vapor barriers can cause water, moisture, mold and, mildew to form in the attic. This can lead to premature wear of the roof, structure and building materials. The cost to fix this damage could easily run over $2500.00.
This can occur in many places (door or window frames, trim, siding, decks and, fences). The building Inspector will sometimes probe the wood to see if this is present-especially when the wood has been freshly painted. Water may be responsible for the initial damage, but unattended: it invites insects (termites and carpenter ants) and mould.
STRUCTURAL & FOUNDATION PROBLEMS:
An inspector will certainly investigate the underlying footing and foundation of your home as structural integrity is fundamental to your home.